Plea to help owners of tiny puppy Storm with £8k vet's bills

Storm the border collie puppy from Martlesham Heath, Suffolk

Storm the border collie puppy, whose owners are facing a huge vet's bill - Credit: Michaela Freeland

The owners of an adorable puppy are facing huge £8,000 vet's bills - after tiny Storm fell ill just days after they bought him.

A fundraising page has been set up to help Michaela Freeland and her partner  Lucy Jacobsen, from Martlesham Heath, pay the vet's bills for the 10-week-old border collie pup, as he battles canine parvovirus.

Owner Michaela Freeland of Martlesham Heath with Storm the border collie puppy

Owner Michaela Freeland of Martlesham Heath with Storm the border collie puppy, who is battling parvovirus - Credit: Michaela Freeland

The couple, who are both health care assistants at Ipswich Hospital, are upset over the plight of the pup, which is currently being treated by a specialist vet in Cambridge.

Michaela said: "After having Storm for four days, he went from being a bouncy, happy puppy to a very poorly one. He has been under our local vet for treatment since Friday which then led to treatment being needed at an out-of-hours vet.

Storm the border collie puppy from Martlesham Heath in a basket

Storm the border collie puppy, who is fighting parvovirus - Credit: Michaela Freeland

"More tests were done on Monday where they found him critically ill with parvovirus, causing sepsis. This leaves him fighting for his life in ICU.

"We have made some payments already for his treatment. However, now he is needing a lot more complex treatment now so gathering the funds together is proving difficult.

Lucy Jacobsen of Martlesham Heath with Storm the puppy

Lucy Jacobsen of Martlesham Heath with Storm the puppy - Credit: Michaela Freeland

"Storm means everything to the family and we will continue to help him along the way, whatever it takes. We are both distraught that he may not make it."

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The owners had taken out insurance for the puppy, but have been told the insurers will not pay the bills because Storm became ill within an initial 14-day period.

Storm the border collie puppy, owned by Michaela Freeland of Martlesham Heath, is battling parvovirus

Storm the border collie puppy is battling parvovirus - Credit: Michaela Freeland

They bought the puppy from a family in Essex, and Michaela said everything originally seemed legit, but they have since been completely unable to contact the sellers and are now very concerned. Michaela said they had reported their concerns to the RSPCA. 

They are also the owners of five-year-old chihuahua Ralphy. Michaela said: "We are left feeling anxious that our second dog has been put at risk of this awful virus."

A friend of Michaela and Lucy, Gemma Parrish, has set up a GoFundMe page to help them meet the vet's bills.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We would urge anybody thinking of getting a puppy to be extremely cautious when researching who or where to buy from, and we'd encourage people to first consider adopting instead of buying. 

“Sadly there are many unscrupulous breeders and sellers out there who are willing to exploit the demand for certain breeds in order to make a quick buck, very often at the expense of the dogs' welfare.

"As the demand over lockdown for pets has surged, we fear even more criminals and conmen are cashing in on unsuspecting members of the public and more dogs are paying the ultimate price."

The RSPCA is also advising people to use the Puppy Contract to guide them through the process of buying a puppy.

Storm the border collie puppy is receiving specialist vet treatment

Storm the border collie puppy is receiving specialist vet treatment - Credit: Michaela Freeland


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